Nov 20 2002
The most popular Mac CAD program comes to OS X.
Switching gears from last weeks review of Strata 3D, we’re going to take a look at something both sides of your brain can enjoy.
For the designer, VectorWorks offers a great library of pre-configured objects, logical tools and an efficient layout. Starting off in the world of 3D design can be tough, but with features like Smart Cursor, the most comprehensive tool-tips I’ve ever seen and even audible feedback, VectorWorks reaches out to your creative side.
On the other hand, for the engineering type, VectorWorks is a dream come true. Organization vital to any design project can easily be set up with VectorWork’s layers and classes. Preconfigured tools, such as the wall and flyover tool take the guesswork out of common tasks.
VectorWorksâ€™ industry specific add-ons make it versatile with a custom feel. VectorWorks has a flavor for everyone with Architect, Mechanical, Landscape and even Spotlight for theatrical lighting.
The remaining member of the team is RenderWorks, which adds texturing with transparency, bump and lighting control. RenderWorks is a great way to transform your schematics into a 3D reality.
Apart from a steep learning curve, VectorWorks is a very powerful and practical CAD application. Once you master VectorWorks, the world of industrial design is at your fingertips. My only 2 complaints: the interface could be a little tighter (there are tools all over the place) and there could be more learning help.
However, those who live and breath CAD probably wonâ€™t be bothered by these shortcomings. Newcomers, be ready for some reading. The manual is very comprehensive and not small either.
The verdict: A must have upgrade to CAD in X, and a powerful design tool if you are ready to tackle it.
VectorWorks 10 starts at $895 with upgrade pricing available.